UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – US forces have spotted the “return” of the Islamic state to some areas of Syria under government control, a defense official said on Tuesday.
Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition to fight jihadists in Iraq and Syria, said the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia had not been able to retain the areas they had recaptured from the organization of the Islamic Jihad state.
“When we look at the organization of the Islamic state in areas where we do not work and where we do not support our partners on the ground, elements of the Islamic state organization were able to return and control areas (including) some neighborhoods in southern Damascus,” Dillon said.
“We have seen the organization of the Islamic state begin to return to areas west of the Euphrates River.”
According to the Pentagon, US forces are closely monitoring the organization of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, where jihadists have lost 98 percent of the territory they seized in the past.
However, no progress has been made against the organization of the Islamic state in recent weeks in areas where US forces are fighting through Syria’s democratic forces because of the Turkish military operation in northern Syria.
In January, Ankara launched a bloody operation around Afrin to push Kurdish militants out of the city.
Many Kurdish fighters who were involved in operations against the jihadist organization left the fighting to support their comrades in Afrin.
Dillon said there had been little gain since Kurds left the Syrian Democratic Forces.